MacSekai

16 01 2008

Greetings, sup , hola, konnichiwa, ni hao, yo!

Seems like I have not written in awhile. I have though just not here. A few things doing or has been doing. Make sense, no, it’s ok.

I have another blog of sort over on Multiply. It is waaay different over there. I do not really write as I do here and on Zensekai II. I just post some interesting articles I find and some videos and pictures. It handles videos and pictures better than here, that is a nice feature. Along with being able to tell who’s visited your site even if they do not say anything. The people there are hmmm, different, but maybe not so much, other than they are more willing and do interact more than folks here, well at least on my page. Also you can see when someone post something of interest because of the contacts they are called, postings notices. Anyway, lots of politic talk, and some Zen things, sailing spots the world, etc. Kind of interesting, but I do my writings here it is like home. More like my private journal.

band

I had my first Jam of the year last weekend. Nice. I heard the band, well part of the band, I guess I could say the core of the band practicing on Sunday and true to my word, I heard them and stopped in with my Bass to get my Jam on. They were going through stuff I just played along. The keyboard player was doing some Bass patterns, I filled in around that. It was cool! Finding musical holes and filling them, but not to much that it was over done. It had a Tai Chi/Zen kind of feel to blend into the nature of what was there. Adding without, unbalancing. I can always find some Zen thing in what I’m doing. I guess that is part of making it part of your life not something you go to to do. Also once one starts just playing with out thinking about what being played, that is really that mindful Zen state, being one with the Force. Very much part of playing music, in the groove they say. Anyway, I digress, I liked it. They have a opportunity be regular players at a club down in San Jose, that was at one time a very famous Blues club. The new owner is trying to bring it back. Maybe I’ll sit in with them from time to time or work up a set. That would be kind of cool!

bart

Other than an Atari that I had many many moons ago, that was basically something that would do spreadsheets and play a couple of games, word process. My first real computer was a Mac. I have stuck with them since! Macs are the BOMB! Anyway I went to MacWorld today in San Francisco. I was able to take the afternoon off from work. Thanks to my nice boss lady! I wanted to check things out. It had been years since I was able to go. The last 5 years my company was PC based ( barf), so I could not go with the company’s ble$$ing 🙂

bart2

So today I went, the weather was good, there was a big crowd. I took the Bart over after walking to the station. It was a good day for a walk. The big New thing @ the show this year was a thin thin thin laptop, which is very thin. Did I say that it thin, very thin? Otherwise, a lot of the things for sale were about covers for one’s Mac toys. Some new media software and gadgets. I ended up buying a folding laptop desk. It it easy to use sitting lotus on the floor, in a chair at a table with my MacBook. I am using it now. It is good support and keeps the Laptop running much much cooler. I was thinking something was wrong with my laptop the fan keep coming on so much. It has not come on once since using this!

DT

Otherwise there were a few cool things I could have gotten if I had money to burn which I did not. A lot of things for Podcasting and video casting. Some of which maybe of use down the road for my current work in multimedia. However if the company had not paid for my ticket of 45.00 ( because I did not purchase early) I would have not been happy. It just did not seem worth it to pay that much money to get in to see things one could buy. The seminars were way off the hook in cost! It did not help my mind to read on the news stand headline about a deadly bacteria that is loose in San Francisco. It did say in the gay community, but still…I do not think the bug cares and there were A Lot of people there, it could suddenly decide to go AC/DC

Mcenter

So I’m back now, and it is back to work tomorrow. I really have to crack down on the job, the next two weeks. I am heading off to Nashville for a week long conference on the 28th. Not looking forward to it, other than it being over with! After that not only do a get a couple of days off, lil Sis is coming from Japan, we are so looking forward to it!

So that is the local news, campers. Lets be careful out there and try to be kind to each other. We all need it!

MAcworld
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View from the cushion…after the storm

7 01 2008

For now a somewhat short post maybe… I may come back later and make/add some changes to this…

sitting

The rain on Friday turned into a major ordeal. We were without power for most of the evening, once I arrived home. That along with some in-harmonious companion energy made for …hmmm lets say challenging most of the weekend.

Marriage is alot like doing zazen at times…maybe all the time actually, some days are better than others!…zen heheheh

My zafu came on Friday I’m liking it. I have no plans on taking to the group sittings, but for home, prefect! Much nicer to have one nice cushion on the floor, than a small stack of several.

I went to Zen practice on Sat. It was pouring rain at first but cleared up for the ride home. The meeting was somewhat small because of the storm and the room was very cold. However it was still a good session. We did one finger Zen practice. which helps develop concentration. A simple explanation is, first you hold up one finger and concentrate on the tip for about 3 or so minutes. Then someone in the circle holds up their finger and everyone concentrates on that, and change to another person every min. or so. Also since it was a small group more time was spent on doing meditation than explaining what/how to do it.

It was interesting hearing some of the Chinese view on the New year 2008, year of the rat. 8 is a fortunate number in Chinese culture. Big thing in China with the Olympics, is the torch being lit at 8:00 on the 8th day, in the 8th month in the year of 08″, see the 8 pattern, it is a big deal. I wonder about in Japan about the number 8. I do know 4 is not or maybe it is just the way it is pronounced in counting, so it is changed. Oh well, I digress. It was also interesting to speak with one of the group about Zen and Christianity as he is a Catholic. We spoke of of other clergy within the Catholic circles that also practice Zen and the some I heard of that also teach to their followers. Zen goes across secular border.

Sunday things are settling. Other than now there is no water due to the rain. Sounds weird doesn’t. Well the condos on the first floor on the front of the building flooded due to the run off from the street, they are set just enough below ground level they get the problem from the rains. So the water was shut off whilst they deal with that. Bummer for everyone. More so for the residents, but everyone will pay with higher homeowners dues to pay for it.

I’m reading reports of the problems with the new finger printing of foreigners in & out of Japan. Many see it as yet another blow of discrimination to the foreign community by the government, which is becoming more and more less foreign friendly, even to permanent residents. Although individual Japanese are friendly and kind, the government does not make life, let’s say pleasant for non-Japanese. In a way it is still left over from the old days, when Japan was a closed country, but now with new muscle, yet need the outsider. Kind of strange catch ne! Some Americans who have said they really liked Japan at first living there, changed after a year. They were never accepted as being Japanese, they were always foreigners. Of course this is how millions of Blacks feel in this country. So Japan in many ways is the lesser of two evils for us to live there. There all non-Japanese have to deal with undercurrent discrimination, here it is just the minorities, because the “real” Americans have been conquered and put on reservations. Hmmm, I guess it is really the same though, because in Japan if you are not Japanese, you are the minority… welcome to our world. The main difference is you do not get burning crosses on your lawn, gang jumped, lynched, and the other sorted, violent weirdness that happens to the various minorities here in the US. True things are better than before. Anyway I expect it to be weird regardless starting in a new culture/country at my age.

I heard the band practicing in the club house today, so I stopped by to do the New Years wishes. Nice to see the folks. We chatted a bit. If I was not doing the put off house stuff I would have sat-in with them. Next time, I’m there. I’m feeling the need to play, it has been awhile. I was just thinking about that just a couple of days ago. I have no idea what happened with the church group, I never heard from the choir leader again after I said I was booked until after the holidays. That is too bad I liked doing that. I could call, but I figure if she was interested she would have replied to my emails or if she did not get them contact me.

Anywhoo, I hope everyone is off to a good start for 2008. I’m off to TCB…

cushion





So it begins…

4 01 2008

Today is rainy rainy rainy and WINDY. There is a big storm settling in for the next few days. It is a good day to be next to a fireplace or in bed or both. I’m feeling a bit sluggish.

rain

I’m on lunch break at work. There is a lot to do the next coupe of weeks before I head off to Nashville (yuk). Anyway we are now into the New Year. So far so good 🙂

This is lunar year of the Rat coming in Feb. I have to check on what that means to a Tiger Child:

Expect a powerful year when people are firm about their goals, passions, and aspirations. Although there may be fluctuations in world economies, it is an excellent time to start a business, buy property, invest in long-term plans, or accumulate wealth. Ventures begun in the Rat year will prosper if well prepared, but it is not a time for foolish risks. Rat loves the pack, so this year is also a time for socializing, entertaining, and enjoying ourselves.”

TIGER Anticipate minimal gains and not too much advancement. Restless Tiger requires action, but money could be tight and compromises must be accepted. Rats think, plan, scheme, and ponder — which are not Tiger (nor Horse) traits. You will start a new fortunate life cycle in Tiger year 2010.”

hmmm ok. Well 2010 is just before we head to Nippon, that should help.

 

Also I may just for fun throw a I-Ching.

We had a quiet New Years Eve and Day. I spent NY eve day on the boat, since Lady Z had to work. I had a nice lunch, wrote for the Zensekai2 blog, a few misc chores, took pictures, etc. It was a good day.

NY dinner

NY eve night, which is NY day in Japan, we spoke with family in Japan via Skype that was fun.

skype Nippoon

Otherwise after we hung out. There was traditional food stuff out all day and we had left over for the next 3 days as there is no cooking. So whatever was made at NY or just before is consumed over the next few days…mostly cold.

coolin sushi
loose Sushi cooling…
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sushi

We are off to Ch’an group practice this Sat. It seems like it has been ages since I’ve been. It has been at least a month for me, since I had that intenseness with the USCG study exam, which I passed!! ( sweet) In case you did not know. I finally got a Zafu ( meditation seat) cushion for Christmas. Even though we do not use them in Ch’an sitting. I got one anyway to help my knees. I would like to avoid that disabling suffering I went through last year. I did come across someone last year from Japan who did his Zen practice standing. We were in agreement that it is about the mind not the body. However… Fine for alone, but makes one standout (heheh) in a sitting group session.

shao lin chan logo

I have a new office mate, no more solo in my office 😦
Oh well he seems ok enough, any rate I can be the Bamboo unless he is a real pain. He does not seem the sort. However if I have to share a room with him whilst traveling to the on site convention jobs, I will not be happy! However I’ll cross that bridge if it happens. One of the things I am doing in my new capacity as Team Captain Concord-CA for the ecoflag/GSA organization, is change all ( ok most) the incandescent bulbs in use here at the office to low emission florescents. Anything we can do, even small things make a difference and with the light bulbs, the reduction in cost and emission is substantial. Do your share, we all pollute, we all can reduce! Reduce, Recycle, Reuse! Reduce waste in 08′

ecoflag

I’m reading a new book I came across called, Thank you and OK. Weird title ne! Is about a guy from the SF Zen center who goes to stay and train in Japan for a while. Interesting reading. Not a whole lot about Zen, but more so about his life in the monstery and the monks. It is an old book, kind of fun to read about his adventures in the land of the Rising sun.

Sisuk is in Tawain or Hong Kong or someplace like that, I have a couple of weeks of break from his intensity. I will need to prepare fro some serious Tai Chi training when he gets back. He is there training and will be all amped up when he gets back, and I have been told I need to make time to get in to the studio and practice with him. Think drill Sargent! It will do me good, but it will not be fun . He says, training is not suppose to be fun. That is a western concept, it should be hard work otherwise he say one can just go to a gym. There was no Holiday party this last year from his school as he had to go oversea earlier than planned. I missed my Shifu’s Christmas party as I was in LA doing the anniversary thing with my classmate. I want to keep my schedule fairly simple this year so I can have some time for training. I maybe heading back to LA to give a couple more seminars. Althouhg I will plan on teaching less stuff and just being more in depth with whatever I am showing, as the class there can not handle too much information at once. I’m thinking maybe a Kali/Arnis seminar would be good. Hmmm, well there is still time to think on it. Another classmate who runs the The South Wind School of Classical Chinese Martial Art gave a combat stick seminar and not sure how that will work with them having learned that it maybe ok, I’ll need to check. It is completely different but maybe not so much, to someone who does not know better. So maybe they will not be interested in learning Kali basics.

A student asked if I was going to do any ceramics this year. I would like to but… That maybe too much for right now, I really need to put in some Kung Fu time even through my heavy nautical studies are over for the moment. Maybe in the second half of the year. That will be in time for some Christmas gifts.

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Anyway on with 2008, minasan Ganbatte ne! (everyone do your best) & let’s be careful out there!





Akemashite Omedetou…あけましておめでとう

1 01 2008